Possibly, if you are like me, the last thing you feel like doing when someone hurts you is respond with gentleness. Especially when we feel justified in responding in a way that will inflict as much hurt on the offender as they inflicted on us. Yeah, buddy.
But after we rehearse in our mind all the mean things we could say right back, we know that’s not the way we should respond. If we search the Scriptures, nowhere will we find it says meanness is one of the Fruit of the Spirit. What the Bible does say is gentleness is a Fruit of the Spirit.
Something I’m gradually starting to realize is although the person who hurt me may seem like the enemy, the real enemy is Satan. He uses people to hurt people for his benefit. If he can get us at each other’s throat’s, he’s won. And we’ve lost, no matter how we might feel otherwise.
Our struggle is not against the flesh and blood person standing in front of us. Our struggle is against the forces of evil.
When we don’t respond with gentleness, we misrepresent God and Satan wins. When we choose to respond with gentleness, God wins and Satan loses.
I wish I could tell you every time someone hurts me I respond with gentleness, or at least didn’t consider responding in kind. But that would not be true. Nope. Gentleness is one of the Fruit of the Spirit I struggle to grow. It’s a process. A lifelong process. Some days are better than others.
So what do we do?
Take a deep breath and remember whose child we. Remember God loves the person who offended us as much as he loves us. Remember a gentle answer turns away wrath.
Responding with gentleness stops the aggressive back and forth in its tracks. It does not add fuel to the escalation. Gentleness shows the love of Jesus in a real way.
Before we hit send on a fiery email, enter into a drawn out social media rant, or open our mouth without thinking, let’s have an attitude like Christ and respond with gentleness.
I wish you well.